My characters have me over a barrrel.

My characters have gone on strike.

They refuse to do what The Half Baked Plan says they must. They insisted it is my fault, letting them have a free rein for the first 83,000 words or so, explaining they have patiently toed the line pretty well these last 9019 words, BUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  They’re not doing it anymore, they don’t like my plan.

The pesky buggers just will not do anything except sound like robots, talk crap, and look like cardboard cutouts in a place setting that has hosted a million movies!

So, I’m winding back thousands of words to before they got the sulks.  The annoying thing is I am now going where I was headed before I got the insane desire to plan the ending. Hhmmmmphhhh.

Please don't steal my drawing.
We can outlast YOU, easy!

A change of tack, but still on writing.

I recently signed up for  courses on FutureLearn. My theory is that all of it will help my brain and help my writing by understanding how people lived and reacted in the past. By September when the courses will gang up on me, I should be finished my first novel and into the next.

The courses are:
England in the time of King Richard III – University of Leicester (starts next week)
Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923 – Trinity College Dublin (September)
Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture – University of Liverpool (September)
Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier – Newcastle University (late September)
Exploring our oceans – University of Southampton (end October)

As if that wasn’t enough, last night I signed up for another at Coursera, begins June 20, and I’m expecting to enjoy that immensely. It comes at the right time, before I begin the serious editing process word by word.

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing) – Mt. San Jacinto College

So, those who wince every time you read one of my posts (dangling participles? unattached verbs? changing tense? and other annoying shit) expect improvement when I brush up my skills.

“Crafting an Effective Writer” is a course designed to help you review the basics of grammar and punctuation and discover your own unique writing voice in the process. You will end the course by writing an original paragraph full of confident sentences and vivid detail. Along the way, we will guide you through a review of the parts of speech, subjects and verbs, and clauses and phrases.

So I’ll be good for one paragraph then. 🙂

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. I hate it when characters start mouthing platitudes and striking poses! As if you don’t have enough problems…
    Haven’t heard of Coursera. Will have a look. I’m always scrabbling around for something to induce a bit of discipline!

    Like

    1. ChristineR says:

      Hello Helen. I was struggling, a couple of steps back and I surge forward again. 🙂
      Someone mentioned Coursera on another blog recently. They have lots of interesting stuff on offer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dadirri7 says:

    fascinating Christine .. love the way characters do their own thing, they are just as difficult as flesh and blood to manipulate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Certainly are. 🙂

      Like

  3. Carol Ann says:

    You’re too funny! If your novel is half as good as your blogs, you will succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Now, now, cut that out, Carol Ann. I won’t be able to get through the door with the swelled head. I expect to put up the first chapter here after the second edit, so you will be able to judge for yourself. 🙂

      Like

      1. Carol Ann says:

        I will be waiting, but if you do not hear from me right away…contact me. With the move, I may miss some things. i am setting up my new internet a week from today.

        Like

        1. ChristineR says:

          No worries. Nothing exciting will happen book-wise in the next month, I assure you. 🙂

          Like

          1. Carol Ann says:

            i meant the first chapter you will “put up here”… did you?

            Like

          2. ChristineR says:

            Ummm, I meant the first chapter too. I didn’t word my comment well … it will be exciting for me to get my novel finished. 🙂

            Like

          3. Carol Ann says:

            All right, then…get to it. We are all waiting for its debut. like anxious mothers.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew! Impressive Christine. I admire you immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Thanks Kayti, appreciated. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. M-R says:

    And in your spare time …?
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      catch some sleep?

      Like

  6. bkpyett says:

    What an exciting time ahead Christine, I admire your tenacity. Look forward to reading your first chapter.

    Like

    1. ChristineR says:

      I look forward to having it ready! 🙂

      Like

  7. Cindi says:

    I love writing just for a hobby, but wow, do I understand the different directions that words can take when “they” realize you intend to go in a different direction. I can only imagine what the actual people/characters in your novel are doing to you. I have huge respect for you authors as you wrestle those characters into submission … or allow them to tell you where the story should really go.

    I hope the “winding back thousands of words to before they got the sulks” is successful to get them cooperating again.

    That graphic is absolutely perfect.

    Your courses sound fascinating. The ones exploring the archaeology and history (Hadrian’s Wall, England in the time of King Richard III) of specific times sound particularly interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      I’m not an author yet Cindi. I reckon one would have to actually have finished something for that status, but thank you. Miss T was always annoyed with my intention of killing off her love (or letting her think he was dead) and I just couldn’t manage to make the whole thing feel more than a contrived sideshow.

      I’m rather pleased with the graphic – I thought the post needed something. I keep feeling like I have pinched it from somewhere, but I did it myself: grabbed a bit of A4, a biro and wow! look at that. 🙂 Now I have the fear I will stumble across the original idea somewhere. I sign any artwork of mine ‘Teen’, after my family nickname. Anyway Miss T has a rather strong jaw and short arms (and no, her name is not Teen).

      I’m looking forward to the return to school … sort of.
      🙂

      Like

  8. WeaverGrace says:

    ” I am now going where I was headed before I got the insane desire to plan the ending. Hhmmmmphhhh.” You got me laughing with delight for you. Bravo for your humility to bow to your characters and let them take you back to the path you were all on together.

    I wish you well with your coursera course. I took several a year ago, and loved it. I learned a lot about new things (and updated what I already knew about some things), made friends who I still enjoy keeping in touch with, and found that I had no interest in some of the courses and professors whom I expected to enjoy. I really like the freedom to try a course, taste the material, and drop the course, or thoroughly immerse myself in the course material, complete all of the assignments, and be active in the forums…or somewhere in between. I gobbled up history, geology, neuroscience, writing, art, chemistry, and statistics in coursera courses.

    Like

    1. ChristineR says:

      Grace, many thanks for the good wishes for the courses, I’ll need them. 😀

      Like

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Well done on your first draft, you’re way ahead of me! I think these free courses are a brilliant gift – at least I did until one that I one paid for became available for free – the Open University ‘Start Writing Fiction’, hey ho such is life. I used to know grammar stuff, but I’m old now and I’ve forgotten, so my excuse is that I’ve found my authentic voice 🙂

    Like

    1. ChristineR says:

      Re grammar, that ‘s exactly what I’ve told myself too, we can’t go all sounding the same! Many thanks for dropping by my blog Lucid Gypsy. I’m loving your garden photos. 🙂

      Like

  10. Hi Christine! Thank you for your kind words and for following me. I always enjoy your posts . Hope you get an insight into my life here in Northern California. We have to keep those little grey cells up and running~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Well I got a surprise when I saw I wasn’t already following you Kayti, as you have been so supportive and say nice things to me which I love. ❤

      Like

  11. Neil Gaiman breaks grammar rules all the time, so…

    Thanks for the reminder about Coursera (but my, you’re going to be busy!). Think I’ll go see if they’ve got anything for aspiring Special Education teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      I wagged all my classes last week and missed the final writing assignment. Oh well, the information is still there to be had and I should still do it. I’ve just got too caught up in blogging and sort of forgot. 🙂 Too lazy, more like.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. lorellepage says:

    Hey Christine. Sorry it’s taken me so long to say hello on your blog ! I think you did the right thing by listening to those pesky characters lol. They are so in tune with us that we aren’t allowed to rest when they are restless 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Hello Lorelle, lovely of you to drop by. Don’t be sorry, you’re a busy girl. I hope my characters are getting annoyed – if they hadn’t interrupted, this first part of their journey would be done. 😀

      Like

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